The 7 Most Important Things Whitney Taught Us About Love

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Over the weekend, we lost one of the moving, relatable vocalists in the history of pop music. Whitney Houston’s music resonated because of how she sang, but also because of what she sang. Many of us learned a lot about the way love works from Whitney, without even realizing it. Here are a few things I picked up.

1. Ask for Advice

How Will I Know

Dating can drive you nuts if you keep all of your feelings to yourself. It’s so easy to lose perpective. The good news is that everyone’s been through it if they’re not going through it now. If you’re confused by what you’re feeling and what you should expect, check in with people you trust. Like your godmother, Aretha Franklin.

Related: Adele Turns a ‘Rubbish Relationship’ Into Grammy Gold — How You Can, Too

2. You Can Have A Meaningful Fling

I’m You Baby Tonight
A short term thing can really affect you, especially if you give yourself over to it completely. The way that Whitney puts so much emotion into this song, which is essentially about a one-night stand, showed me that impulsive does equal meaningless. The emotional impact of a romantic or sexual relationship has only to do with how much you feel (or let yourself feel) about it, not how long it lasts.

3. Emotions Don’t Always Match the Reality

Saving All My Love For You

It’s hard to argue with what Whitney’s feeling here. She knows what she wants, she can’t settle for anything less but she also knows she’s never going to get it. Even as a kid this song made me sad at the thought — what you feel about someone can overpower you, but you can’t stay with them forever if they won’t let you have them. And knowing that still won’t always stop you trying.

4. Know When You’ve Got a Good Thing

You Give Good Love

Don’t settle, but don’t pass up something that’s going to make you happy because you’re looking for something perfect either.

Related: 5 Things I Learned About Sex from Rap Music

5. Put Yourself First

Greatest Love of All

As cheesy as it seem now, this was the first time that anyone told me that loving myself was the most important thing. I believed it then and I still do.

6. The Real Thing Is Better

I Wanna Dance With Somebody

She doesn’t want to dance with just anybody, does she?

Related: The 10 Worst Make Out Songs

7. Letting Go Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You’re Over Someone

I Will Always Love You

When we break up with someone, it seems that we’re expected to go through a mourning process, come to terms, and then be done. We all know it not always like that, though. Making the decision to move on doesn’t mean that you won’t always have feelings for a person. Sometimes, knowing that can be a source of strength — something that leaves you more open to love in the future.